Photos by: Zak Littrell (axzlmedia.com)
Story by: Ellie Salrin
Skrillex and his whole caravan of industry heavyweights toured the country this summer on their Mothership Tour. Skrill, Dillon Francis, DJ Snake, What So Not, and Milo & Otis will finish out their tour in Portland, ME on July 30. I got a taste of this merry group of pranksters outer-space, alien-themed tour when their ship stopped over in St. Louis a few weeks ago.
The show started early and the audience began to assemble as Filibusta and Pleasure shared the stage to prepare everyone for a night of getting down. Their sexy set of all original tracks was on point for kicking off the evening. Filibusta (aka Troy Probst), winner of this year’s Untz Challenge, has been gaining momentum as he crushed fests like Sonic Bloom and Electric Forest. Pleasure (aka Sean McCarthy) is making this summer sizzle with his Summer of Pleasure EP series on The Untz. These two blossoming artists have some exciting news on the horizon, so stay tuned.
Aussie producers Milo & Otis (aka Jamila Woods and Owen Hill) were up next. They are a indubitable duo of heavy bass music with a trap accent. Fellow Sydney, Australia natives What So Not followed; comprised of Flume and Emoh Instead. Their tracks have a melodic synth intertwined with gritty drops and a smooth, full body weaving all the way through which has gained them the attention to get scooped by OWSLA a couple years ago. The energy continued to multiply as the music took us to rowdytown.
Dillon Francis got hands up, girls on shoulders the entire set. It was a mostly heavier, upbeat show with lots of bass, glitch, and buildups. Francis took to the scene as one of Diplo’s discoveries. He is credited as a pioneer of moombahton and his unique take on trap, dubstep, and beyond is refreshingly crispy. His tracks make their way into the sets of the likes of Rusko and Major Lazer, and his influence in the industry is continuing to grow.
The production up until this point was massive, albeit simple compared to what was about to happen. Skrillex made an entrance, playing for two minutes behind a curtain with the artwork for his latest album, “Recess.” It dropped to reveal a massive LED screen as a backdrop, serving up trippy, morphing visuals. In front of that sat the one and only mothership. A futuristic UFO set for total sonic destruction. Lazers shot from behind the ship, as Skrill blasted bangers from inside with the occasional black hair headbanging. Dillon Francis joined Skrillex onstage for a rambunctious and fitting closer.
My first introduction to California native Skrillex (aka Sonny Moore) was in his post-hardcore band From First to Last when I was in high school. His influence has grown exponentially since he began producing, having claimed six Grammys in addition to founding OWSLA Records. The label is now home to artists like Rusko, Figure, Koan Sound, and Skream. In the dust of his most recent release, he has flown The Mothership from New York to Colorado, and everywhere in between, while continuing to work on new material. The heavy sound and monstrous production blew St. Louis’ mind, and so the motley crew flew their ship onward into space.
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